As the World’s population continues to grow the pressure for clean water continues to mount. Who knows in the future conflicts may begin over disputes for clean water! By adopting a water-wise habit and making some simple plumbing changes it is possible to almost halve your own water consumption. You can reduce pressure on limited water supplies; protect the environment by reducing sewerage outputs and save money at the same time.
The Water-Wise Bathroom
- Use a low flow showerhead or get a plumber to install a flow restrictor to reduce the amount your shower emits.
- Take shorter showers. Every minute in the shower uses about 23 litres of water.
- If having a bath, share the bath water between family members.
- Consider installing a grey-water system to collect water from the bath, shower and basin. This water can be used to irrigate the garden.
- Install aerating taps at the basin. These use less water.
- A single lever tap will save on water.
- Don’t leave tap running when brushing teeth.
- Fill a cup with water to rinse razor instead of a running tap.
- Install a dual-flush toilet. If you can’t afford this, place a container filled with water or a brick inside cistern to reduce water loss.
- “If its yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down”
The Water-Wise Garden
- Mulch all of garden with a thick layer of organic matter. This stops water loss and prevents weeds.
- Use a leaky (seeper) hose and place under the mulch layer so it delivers water directly to the roots of the plants.
- Grow drought tolerant plants which are less thirsty.
- Irrigate at dawn or dusk to prevent sun evaporating water before plant can absorb it.
- Install a rainwater tank to collect water from roof to use on garden.
The Water-Wise Kitchen
- When choosing a dishwasher buy one with a high energy rating. The higher the number of stars the better.
- Only run the dishwasher when full.
- Scrap food off plates, rather than rinsing with water, before you stack in dishwasher.
- Clean dishwasher filter regularly.
- Collect food scraps for the compost, worms or chickens, rather than using waste disposer.
- If you have an old-model dishwasher, consider washing dishes by hand.
- Wash fruit and vegetables in a basin or bowl of water rather than under a running tap.
- Defrost food in the fridge rather than under running water. This saves energy too as the frozen food keeps fridge cool.
- Keep a jug of cool water in the fridge rather than waiting for tap to run cold.
The Water-Wise Laundry
- Wait until you have a full load before running washing machine.
- Stick to the short cycle unless clothes are really soiled.
- Use the minimum amount of detergent that is needed. Too much detergent makes it difficult to rinse clothes properly. For every 100grams of detergent produced, about 1.3 Kilograms of greenhouse gases are emitted.
- Clean washing machine filter regularly.